Skip to main content

Full text of "The Gay Genius"

See other formats

Z98                                 THE GAY GENIUS

In the intervals between his work at the farm he would come to the
town, get a little tipsy, and lie down on the grass to sleep until some
kind peasant waked him up at dusk. One day in a drunken fit he wrote
a hobo rhapsody, entitled "The Song of the Yellow Mud Flat", ending
as follows:

"I admire the white clouds over the Yellow Mud in the morning,
And stop under the blue smoke of the Snow Hall at night,
Pleased that the fowl of the forest are not disturbed,
And happy that woodsmen ignore me and pass me by.

"I had tramped singing after a jolly sip,
And it pleased me to lay down my cane and fall asleep drunk,
With the meadow for my bed, sod for my pillow.
Such happiness can compare with dinner in a gilded hall!
The falling dew began to wet my clothing,
And the rising moon appeared full and round.
A kind elder waked me up,
Lest I should be trampled upon by the sheep and cow.

"Then I got up,
And after I got up I sang:
'The moon is clear; the stars are dim.
They sent me off on my start,
And now accompany me home.
The year is drawing to an end;
The leaves are turning golden;
I want to go home,
I want to go home,
I have loitered round the mud flat for too long."

But his nocturnal visits with his drinking'friends produced some
amusing rumours, both locally and at the court. Thanks to his devotion
to the moonlight and to drink, it was also this kind of life that pro-
duced some of the very best of Su Tungpo's writings, both in poetry
and in prose. In the "Beef and Wine Script", a rather extraordinary
one of these night ventures is recorded.

'Today I was drinking with several friends when Chunchen
arrived. The late summer heat is still on, and the wine is white in
colour. What a brew! The moment it enters your body you see the
King of HelL We were greatly exercised over what we could get
for dinner to go along with the wine. It happens that our western
a buffalo suffering horn a foot disease. We killed it and